Consuming the Southern Other: Representations of Spain in French Culture and Arts

Document Type

Grant Proposal

Date Accepted

Spring 2007

Project Description/Abstract

I will conduct research for a key portion of my second book, Spectacles of Desire and Geocultural Otherness in Spanish and French Film and Arts. I am exploring the ideological constructions of Spain and “Spanishness” by France in order to illuminate the complex psychocultural role that Spain has played as France’s exotic, primitive “other.” I will trace connections between nineteenth-century and interwar avant-garde French cultural representations of Spain, as culled from archival travel literature, popular media (photography and magazines), writing by eminent authors such as Gautier and Merimée, and Surrealist artists and writers rebelling against a stagnant, failed European politics and artistic tradition. For these artists, Spain and its festivals, landscape, and denizens became a site of aesthetic and existential authenticity within a complex and problematic projection of alluring, dangerous “otherness” onto this Southern geocultural entity. A short article and a book chapter will result from this research.

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